Opinion on the queens in the nucs I purchased
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    ouray, co
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    Default Opinion on the queens in the nucs I purchased

    I picked up three carniolan nucs Friday evening. I purchased carniolans because I am at 7800 feet and have a pretty tough winter. I placed them into their boxes Saturday. While I did that I noted the queens and brood. I noted plenty of brood which was good. I also noted that the queens were much lighter than I expected. My hives in Texas were off of a commercial beekeeper truck. They are Italians. The queens in these look very similar to those. I went back Saturday to get a better look and take some pics. I must say that the queens seem healthy. They were laying and the nucs had calm personalities. However I am concerned because I went well out of my way to get carniolan nucs when I could have driven a much shorter drive and gotten italians. All that said I do not have any experience with carniolans. Do they come in lighter varieties? Or would that just mean they are hybrids? I am attaching some pics. I would love to make this a learning experience about carniolan genetics.

    IMG_6522.JPG
    IMG_6517.JPG
    IMG_6516.jpg

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Yuba County, California, USA
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    Default Re: Opinion on the queens in the nucs I purchased

    To me, the first two queens look like Italian hybrids.
    The last queen looks like Italian, the bees are lighter in that one as well.

    The worker bees in all three are Italian looking to me, no Carni's in there that I see with a quick look over the pics. The first two have darker looking and the last has lighter looking Italian coloured workers, although that could be from lighting in the pics. Carni workers are black with light grey bands, and the carni queens are mostly black, in my experience.

  4. #3
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    Feb 2017
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    ouray, co
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    Default Re: Opinion on the queens in the nucs I purchased

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    To me, the first two queens look like Italian hybrids.
    The last queen looks like Italian, the bees are lighter in that one as well.

    The worker bees in all three are Italian looking to me, no Carni's in there that I see with a quick look over the pics. The first two have darker looking and the last has lighter looking Italian coloured workers, although that could be from lighting in the pics. Carni workers are black with light grey bands, and the carni queens are mostly black, in my experience.

    I asked the people I purchased the nuc from. They stated all they can do is try and get the genetics requested. They pretty much agreed that two look like hybrids and one looks straight italian. I think in the future if I buy more nucs I will just get Italians nucs from someplace close and special order carni queens. I think I will give these a few weeks to build up then move the current queen and a frame of brood into a nuc. I do not want to kill off a queen. Requeen the current hive with a special ordered carni. See how each does here in our winter. July and August are our wild flower boom here in Ouray. So the nuc could be ready for a box pretty fast. Maybe the hybrids do fine. Will be curious to see the difference.

  5. #4
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    Feb 2012
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    Forsyth, Missouri
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    663

    Default Re: Opinion on the queens in the nucs I purchased

    vishrb
    Try looking in your area or farther North for your replacement Queens.
    The local bees will be more likely to survive.
    Better yet set out some swarm traps around tree line and raise Queens from any you catch.
    Zone 6b 1400'

  6. #5
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    Feb 2017
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    ouray, co
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    Default Re: Opinion on the queens in the nucs I purchased

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoot Owl Lane Bees View Post
    vishrb
    Try looking in your area or farther North for your replacement Queens.
    The local bees will be more likely to survive.
    Better yet set out some swarm traps around tree line and raise Queens from any you catch.

    We are in a weird spot. Not much close to us. I watched craigs list and the various forums. Either I just missed them or there was just not much going on close to Ouray this year. Someone I know did catch a swarm last year. But unfortunately it did not make the winter. That is why I decided to go the route of trying a specific type of bee. See if I could get something going.

  7. #6
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    Feb 2017
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    ouray, co
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    Default Re: Opinion on the queens in the nucs I purchased

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoot Owl Lane Bees View Post
    vishrb
    Try looking in your area or farther North for your replacement Queens.
    The local bees will be more likely to survive.
    Better yet set out some swarm traps around tree line and raise Queens from any you catch.
    I do totally get your reasoning though. I have not lived here long so hopefully being a member of the state bee association and just making more contacts will help with all that.

  8. #7
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    Jun 2008
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    Yuba County, California, USA
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    Default Re: Opinion on the queens in the nucs I purchased

    Don't give up on the three you have, they may do just fine in your location. In addition to genetics, beekeeper management of the hives plays a big part. Keep on top of varroa checks and make sure they have good stores going into winter. Don't assume they are going to fail.

  9. #8
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    Jun 2016
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    Verde Valley Arizona
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    Default Re: Opinion on the queens in the nucs I purchased

    Bees seem to do pretty well in Cortez, Co. I would think you are pushing it to keep them in Ouray. What about wintering them closer to Montrose or even Delta. BTW she is a big fat Italian mafia mom.

  10. #9
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    Feb 2017
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    ouray, co
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    Default Re: Opinion on the queens in the nucs I purchased

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    Don't give up on the three you have, they may do just fine in your location. In addition to genetics, beekeeper management of the hives plays a big part. Keep on top of varroa checks and make sure they have good stores going into winter. Don't assume they are going to fail.
    Sure. I think I will move the current queens to splits though. If I do that in the next couple of weeks they should be plenty strong going into winter. I will requeen the original hive. Will be an interesting to see hwo each does. If they all do good then awesome. I just have more hives. I was going to do my first baseline test of mites next week.

  11. #10
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    Feb 2017
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    ouray, co
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    Default Re: Opinion on the queens in the nucs I purchased

    I would be fine wintering them closer to Montrose. That is only 45 minutes away. Ridgeway is just 10 miles away and already quite a bit lower but they are actually colder in the winter. Apparently Ouray steels their heat. One night it was -4 here in Ouray but -16 in Ridgeway.

    Part of me kind of wants to see if it is possible to winter them here. But I am not so gungho that I will not be reasonable.

    I have a few numbers for people with land close to Montrose. I will kick it around over the summer.

  12. #11
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    Feb 2012
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    Forsyth, Missouri
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    Default Re: Opinion on the queens in the nucs I purchased

    Here is a link to thread you may want to look at.
    Some of them my help you find better Queens.

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...r-coaster-2017

    If you keep them in that bowel called Ouray they wont be flying much for cleansing flights!
    We spent a week there in 2014.
    Zone 6b 1400'

  13. #12
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    Feb 2017
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    ouray, co
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    Default Re: Opinion on the queens in the nucs I purchased

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoot Owl Lane Bees View Post
    Here is a link to thread you may want to look at.
    Some of them my help you find better Queens.

    https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...r-coaster-2017
    Cool thanks. I will go through the thread.

  14. #13
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    Jul 2016
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    Dayton, TN
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    Default Re: Opinion on the queens in the nucs I purchased

    Russians winter well also.
    IMG_0192.jpg
    Andy

  15. #14
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    ouray, co
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    Default Re: Opinion on the queens in the nucs I purchased

    Quote Originally Posted by BroncoVol74 View Post
    Russians winter well also.
    IMG_0192.jpg
    What are the Russians personalities like? I heard they are a bit fiestier but not too bad.

  16. #15
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    Jul 2016
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    Dayton, TN
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    Default Re: Opinion on the queens in the nucs I purchased

    My experience has been pretty much the same as all my other bees, which are hybrids/mutts and whatever was in the trees when I cut them out. If there is something for them to do (a flow on) they could care less if I am in the hive. If there is a dearth, they are pissy just like the others. Biggest difference I have seen, they build up a lot earlier than the others and will swarm way before the others. My Russian hive was ready to swarm in late February this year because we had about a 2 week warm spell. But they also seem to be tougher on pests. I was able to get 2 mated queens from their swarm cells and so I assume they are "hybrids" now. Both those queens are not as dark as the one in the picture.I will see how they are as compared to the mother.
    Andy

  17. #16
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
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    Default Re: Opinion on the queens in the nucs I purchased

    I've run Buckfast in Castle Rock for almost 35 years. I don't buy into the "local is better" chatter. Most of my bees have come out of Texas and more recently Canada. They've done well above average judging from the reports here on BeeSource. Given reasonable conditions, the point of origin seems to have little impact on a given hive. Local conditions, suitability for the bees, is of far greater importance than breed. Locally sourced ferals have NEVER done as well as superior imported genetics around here, and it has been tried again & again... (leaving a swarm to do it's thing, providing the same treatment as the rest). Re-queening with good genetics has ALWAYS yielded better results.

    I've never run Carnies - the thought of constantly worrying about & dealing with swarming, for which they are highly inclined, has no appeal to me.

    Best of luck - Ouray is some beautiful country! Give your bees a decent windbreak, and leave them heavy with honey for the winter & they should do well.
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  18. #17
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    Mar 2014
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    Clinton, Utah, USA
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    Default Re: Opinion on the queens in the nucs I purchased

    I purchased two pure carnie queens a few years back and they were both jet black and so were all their offspring. It took a bit longer adjustment period for the italians that we placed them in to accept the queens, so if you go that route, error on the conservative side of time to adjust before setting them loose. I always give them a few days and then release manually while I watch the interaction. If I see balling and aggressive behavior, I put the queen back in cage for another day or two.
    Beekeeping 15 yrs, 10 Hives - 6a - Engineering Solutions for Honeybee Survival! - WARMBEES.COM

  19. #18
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Colorado
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    231

    Default Re: Opinion on the queens in the nucs I purchased

    Here is a guy in boulder who sells Carni queens. i just bought one a few days ago from him and have not been back into the hive yet to check on her, so no word on quality yet, but he has a good reputation and has been involved in some colorado specific breeding programs. I believe they are open mated, so who knows what they actually are. Good Luck! i know Boulder might as well be on the moon compared to where you are, but its a start.

    http://nimbusfarm.weebly.com/

  20. #19
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    Feb 2017
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    ouray, co
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    22

    Default Re: Opinion on the queens in the nucs I purchased

    Quote Originally Posted by Nhaupt2 View Post
    Here is a guy in boulder who sells Carni queens. i just bought one a few days ago from him and have not been back into the hive yet to check on her, so no word on quality yet, but he has a good reputation and has been involved in some colorado specific breeding programs. I believe they are open mated, so who knows what they actually are. Good Luck! i know Boulder might as well be on the moon compared to where you are, but its a start.

    http://nimbusfarm.weebly.com/
    I have reached out to them. Thank you for the info.

  21. #20
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    Feb 2017
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    ouray, co
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    Default Re: Opinion on the queens in the nucs I purchased

    Quote Originally Posted by Colobee View Post
    I've run Buckfast in Castle Rock for almost 35 years. I don't buy into the "local is better" chatter. Most of my bees have come out of Texas and more recently Canada. They've done well above average judging from the reports here on BeeSource. Given reasonable conditions, the point of origin seems to have little impact on a given hive. Local conditions, suitability for the bees, is of far greater importance than breed. Locally sourced ferals have NEVER done as well as superior imported genetics around here, and it has been tried again & again... (leaving a swarm to do it's thing, providing the same treatment as the rest). Re-queening with good genetics has ALWAYS yielded better results.

    I've never run Carnies - the thought of constantly worrying about & dealing with swarming, for which they are highly inclined, has no appeal to me.

    Best of luck - Ouray is some beautiful country! Give your bees a decent windbreak, and leave them heavy with honey for the winter & they should do well.
    Thank you. I had hoped to start with a baseline of carnis this year and evaluate each year what happened and decide if I want to shake it up with some changes or not. I will look into the swarming issue.

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